Professor Jonathan Avery
looked at the young woman across from him with patient agitation, drumming his fingers on his small desk as he waited for her to finish the rather colorful story on why she didn't have her homework prepared for a class that was supposed to start in ten minutes. Car broke down... Lost her house keys... Electricity to her apartment was turned off and so could not access a computer...
All in all, a complete load of bullshit that Jon felt more disgust toward than sympathy.
"Rachel," Jon said, holding up a hand.
The girl stopped mid-sentence, blinking bloodshot green eyes at him. "S-sir?" she sniffled, wiping her eyes with the kleenex Jon handed her.
"Has there been a major death in your family? Your mother died? Your father's aunt's neighbor?" She blinked at him again, a little line appearing between finely tweezed brows. "No? Because I have very few rules in my class, and getting work in on time is one of them. No death certificate, no grade for late work. Have a nice day, Ms. Michaels."
He listened to her sniffle, watched her pouty lips tremble, saw the crocodile tears tremble prettily on long black lashes that smeared her makeup, and then watched her walk out the door.
"You could be nicer, you know," his office roommate muttered, giving Jon a look over the reading glasses perched on his nose. The man leaned back frighteningly far in his chair, linked fingers pillowing the back of his neck. Forty, bulky with muscles his personal trainer students coveted like a poor man longed for gold, Jack Algrahm was a man who loved all things petite and pretty, Rachel Michaels not excluded.
"Just because you
think she's cute doesn't mean I'm
going to give her special attention," Jon answered, gathering his notes for the next class into a messy little pile in the center of his desk before stuffing them into his brief case. He lifted papers, dug through his bag, and opened drawers on his desk, muttering to himself as he shuffled things around.
"I don't suppose I could blame you for that," Jack answered, nodding sagely. "After all, the only good decision you've ever made regarding women was getting so drunk four years ago you didn't know it was woman at all."
"Shut up, Jack," Jon said casually, but glanced at his daughter's picture on the corner of his desk with a little smile; Jack was right, there. "Dammit, where the hell is my pen!"
"Jon," Jack said, grinning as he pointed to the side of his own head.
Jon blinked at him and reached up, and muttered a curse when he found the pen he'd been searching for behind his ear. He kissed his fingers and then touched them to his daughter's nose, and headed to class.